Robin Roberts started her medical leave early - yesterday instead of today - so that she could fly to Mississippi to be with her mother, Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts, who died in Gulfport on Thursday at age 88.
"Robin arrived home with her sister, Sally-Ann, forging through flooded and blocked roads to be with her beloved mother in time to see her," GMA Senior Executive Tom Cibrowski said in an e-mail to the entire news division Thursday evening, reports AP. The Mississippi area was dealing with flooding from the effects of Hurricane Isaac.
George Stephanopoulos announced the news on today's Good Morning America. "Robin did make it to say goodbye," he said. "She was there to hold hands," added Diane Sawyer.
Lucimarian Roberts made numerous appearances on GMA. But she was well-known as a Gulf Coast icon, notes AP. She often was the first black woman to work with organizations and state and local agencies, and was the first black to serve as chairman of the Mississippi State Board of Education in the 1980s.
She also had a great passion for poetry and music. She and Robin collaborated on a book titled My Story, My Song - Mother-Daughter Reflections on Life and Faith.
"I sing because the music of the church speaks my soul language," wrote Lucimarian. "I sing because these songs are tightly woven in to the texture of who I am."